Very Elderly Women at Risk for Unneeded Catheter Placement

Those aged 80 and older more likely than those 50 and under to receive inappropriate catheter in ER

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women 80 years of age and older appear to be at high risk for inappropriate urinary catheter (UC) utilization in the emergency department, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

In a 12-week retrospective observational study, Mohamad G. Fakih, M.D., of St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., and colleagues evaluated UC utilization in all admissions from the emergency department.

The investigators found that 532 of 4,521 patients evaluated had a UC placed, including 371 (69.7 percent) that were indicated and 312 (58.6 percent) that had a physician's order documented. The mean age of the patients who had a UC placed without an indication (71.3 years) was higher than the mean age of those with an indication (60.0 years) and those who did not have a UC placed (56.2 years). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that women were 1.9 times more likely than men to have a UC placed without an indication. In addition, patients ≥80 years of age were 2.9 times more likely than those aged ≤50 years to have a UC placed without an indication.

"Multiple approaches are needed to reduce inappropriate utilization, including avoiding the placement of unnecessary UCs and evaluation for continued need for a UC after transfer from the emergency department to intensive and non-intensive care units," the authors write.

The study was supported by a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Grant.

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